Sunday, July 29, 2012

Uhm, No, I Don't Think So...

I know that footwear trends come and go. I am aware that what may be considered passe and outdated today may someday be resurrected as a coveted shoe closet addition. I'm no fashion expert but I know I'm not a bad dresser. My friends come to me for style advice and my love for dressing up is known. I get compliments on the ensembles I put together, and I've been known to trying anything at least once. I have a decent shoe collection and I'm a great believer that you can never be well-dressed with bad shoes. There are, however, some things, style-wise, that I wouldn't touch even with a ten-foot pole.

1. thick-soled/platform flip flops

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Flip flops are supposed to be comfortable and if you're going to be tottering around on them, what's the point? They're unflattering, just plain vicious. There are even brands out there that promise you'll get a workout while walking around in them. Whatever. Not my cup of tea, thanks.

2. (certain types of) wedges

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I've never had any problems wearing heels. Mine are three inches and up. I wore heels during my entire pregnancy seven years ago and I still wear them five or six days out of a week. It probably wasn't the most responsible thing to do - the heel-wearing thing whilst pregnant -, but I did feel good about myself and the way I looked. That was important. I mean, pregnant women shouldn't feel awful about themselves, right?Anyway, wedges, in my opinion, are wannabe heels. And I hate impostors. 

There ARE cute wedges out there, though. Don't get me wrong. Case in point: 

Louis Vuitton's Tuileries Sandal in Silk

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Isn't that darling? I'd wear that - if I can afford it - with tailored white shorts and the classic Ralph Lauren black pique shirt with the pink pony. Remember that? It came out when I was in college and it was released to support breast cancer research. I'd also throw in a patterned scarf for good measure and to complete the look.

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3. Crocs

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I heard they're extremely comfortable and that kids love them. They were first made so people could wear them on boats. Ordinary shoes apparently would ruin and scratch the beautiful wood the floors of these boats were made of. If you don't own a yacht and chances are you don't have one, don't wear these unless you're under ten years old or your name is Mario Batali or Steve Irwin (God bless his soul). 

4. lucite heels

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There's a reason why they're called stripper shoes. They're trashy and just plain horrific. They look like something Madam Auring would wear.

6. Birkenstocks with socks

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As if Birkenstocks aren't bad enough. I wouldn't wear Birkenstocks myself. They're just not me. There are people who wear them and they look okay. They're usually the tree-hugging, VW Beetle-driving, long skirt-wearing vegetarian free spirits who listen to Bjork. *rolls eyes* Fine. Whatever. However, there are those who wear them with socks. Uhm, why? WHY???

7. kitten heels

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Maybe it's because they do nothing to give your legs the illusion of great length. Maybe it's because they give women cankles. Maybe it's the wussy woman's way of wearing heels. It's like, "I want to wear heels but nothing too high, y'know?" Simple. Just wear flats and don't half-ass it.

8. heel-less shoes

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These look like hooves. They're just plain ridic. Repeat after me: "I am not Victoria Beckham. I am not a Harajuku girl. I am not Lady Gaga."

9. Uggs

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I live in a tropical country but work in an office where the temperature is sometimes 19 degrees Celsius. I wear boots. In fact, I've been wearing them to work for a long time. I understand that boots keep us warm. Uggs do that, they say, but please, look at them. They're hideous. They're shapeless and I'm sure there are better alternatives out there.

10. slides

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I won't lie. I've worn them. I've owned a pair or two. Mine were in a solid color, though. I remember I had lavender ones. They weren't that bad. Okay, I've worn slides before. It was before I knew better.

If you wear any of the shoes above, let me tell you that you're better of going barefoot.

Friday, July 27, 2012


I can't wait to watch the London Olympics Opening Ceremony on TV. As of this writing, it's just hours away. I am excited to see how my favorite athletes perform in their events. I spent lunch hour at work looking at photos of athletes winning medals in their sport at the 2008 Games in Beijing. I got so emotional. Hence, I came back to class and discussed the module on US Culture teary-eyed and with a catch in my throat. My trainees thought I was crazy. I have officially caught the 2012 Olympics fever.

all photos from Getty Images through

I'm sure you recognize most of the athletes - Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, Rafael Nadal - in the collage I made above. The look of pure exhilaration on their faces is priceless. The feeling must be indescribable - something they will treasure and remember until their last breaths.

I've always wanted to be more athletic but I grew up with bad eye sight, flat feet, a poor sense of balance and asthma. It's safe to say that the odds were not in my favor. My brothers, on the other hand, are good athletes. As Bosconians in high school, they played football. My eldest brother is the most athletic one in the family as he was an avid footballer in his teens. He also plays basketball, tennis, badminton and table tennis. He studied aikido and is a pretty good swimmer. My sister isn't really sporty but she can dance well. I, on the other hand, cannot even ride a bicycle. I can swim, though. My mom enrolled me in swimming classes at the local YMCA for three straight summers because my doctor advised her it's a good activity to strengthen my lungs. I learned, yes, so it was money well-spent. My strokes are accurate and in good form. I wasn't fast but I had decent endurance. Was I good enough to compete? Heck, no. Still, I am the official family klutz.

It's a good thing I married someone who loves sports. The Husband plays basketball whenever he can and participates in company-sponsored football games from time to time. I hope our daughter grows up doing sports, or at least, pursuing an active lifestyle. She has expressed interest in badminton and swimming. For now, she likes to ride her purple bike on our street. 

There's nothing wrong with being a spectator and standing in the sidelines while cheering on our athletes and our favorite teams, but sometimes, in life, there are moments you have to be in the middle of where the action is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

How Others Treat You Is Their Karma. How You React To It Is Yours.

So life decides to throw me another curve ball a couple of days ago. C'mon, you've read the Facebook rants and the sarcasm-laden tweets. As a result, I was irritable and whiny, and just over all unpleasant. I'm glad to still have friends who stick around albeit the grumpiness. Yesterday, I realized that what - or in this case, who - has been making me antsy was totally not worth it. (If you must know, the person did something that appalled me, and that was really the last straw. It shocked me to find out that this person was capable of doing that that I told myself I will just walk away) Right then and there, I've decided not to swim against the current anymore and just go where the tide takes me this time. I'll just let things be for now. I mean, where's the harm in that? After all, didn't I try to take the 'being-more-assertive' route? It clearly didn't work. After that, a feeling of gratitude just came over me. Why was I beating myself up, anyway? 

I guess I was self-righteous, and I felt entitled just because I worked so hard. I cannot control how others treat me. All I can do is to keep my reactions in check and my negativity at bay. I still have so much to be grateful for. I really have no cause for complaints, if you think about it. It's a good feeling.

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Sunday, July 22, 2012

Peace Out

I may be a lot of things but drama queen isn't one of them. I don't make things up, I don't exaggerate and I don't take advantage of people. That's why no one can treat me unfairly and just expect to get away with it. Worse, no one can treat me unjustly and get to play dumb about it after. I don't like it when people don't take accountability for their actions and take the easy way out.

I also believe that everything can be settled. I believe that all it takes for misunderstandings to be ironed out is  communication. There also has to be a sincere desire to understand each other and come up with a compromise. It might not be easy but it can be done.

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I'm confident to say that I'm mature and objective enough to iron out misunderstandings with someone without throwing a hissy fit (or letting the issue affect my civility towards that person after). The question is: Are they?

Have a peaceful Sunday, everyone!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Seven Soon

The weekend that was was awesome. We managed to get a lot done, caught up on sleep and spent time with our almost-seven-year-old. We planned three low-key shindigs for our one and only. Her birthday is on August 3rd which is a Friday, and her carpool stops by Jollibee at the NRA every Friday. The kids buy ice cream, fries, Coke floats and peach mango pies before going home. It's their little tradition, so the Husband and I decided we will spring for whatever the kids want to get. I'm sure the little one will get a kick out of it.

On August 4th, a Saturday, we're throwing her a Disney Princesses-themed McDonald's - yes, fast food again! - party at J Center. We're inviting her schoolmates in STC and our friends' kids. I like how I won't have to get anyone to host the thing and I don't have to get the balloons and party favors myself.

On August 5th, we're having lunch with the family and her godparents. They say seventh birthdays should be extra special so I'm hoping her weekend-long celebration will make her super happy. We are so blessed to have someone so adorable, affectionate, intelligent and beautiful in our lives.

Her first birthday party at Dessert Factory (a cake and ice cream party!)

Her second birthday party at McDonald's JY SQuare

Her third birthday party at Jollibee Mabolo

Her fourth birthday at my folks'

Her fifth birthday party at Calda Pizza (it was a pizza party!)

Her sixth birthday party at our new home

I can't wait for her birthday weekend. Seven is a very exciting age. I will soon have a seven-year-old! Who'd've thunk?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012


I just marked my eighth - yes, eighth - year with my current company last Sunday. I was hired in 2004 as a communication trainer, and in 2007, I was promoted to the senior trainer position. I wish I could say that I'm happy with my job. I guess, for the most part, I am. That's the truth, although I'm more than happy. I'm content. 

I've always been the kind of person who doesn't really complain about something that provides for me. See, I don't bite the hand that feeds me. I'm very thankful that I have a job that I'm good at. It must be awful to do something you're not excellent at. And to do it day in and day out? What a front one must put up!

The company I work for now has given me so much. If it weren't for how much I make, we wouldn't be able to afford our house, our lifestyle, the little luxuries we enjoy as a family. I was able to help my sister through college. I also took advantage of our educational assistance program - a program that allows employees to go to school while the company pays for the tuition. That's how I was able to get my second degree - a degree in secondary education major in English. It's also great to share the workplace with The Husband. He works in the same company but we're assigned to different departments. We bump into each other in the hallways, sit in the same meetings and attend the same company functions and events.

I've always been passionate about training, about teaching, about communication. I'm thankful I'm able to do this everyday. I've been a trainer for a total of nine years now, and I don't really have plans of stopping anytime soon. Why should I? I like the fact that I get dressed up to go to work, that I work with an awesome team and that I am using my talents to help people become better at what they do.

my closest friends in Training

the Mean Team

the girls of Training

Yes, our team is always fashionable ;-p

Team Awesome

Here's to uhm, eight more years???!!! Cheers!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Maybe It's Not About The Ending, Maybe It's About The Story

My friend, D, got her heart broken a couple of years back. I won't get into the gory details because, clearly, it's not my tale to tell. All I'll say, though, is he was a jerk and she deserved better. Thankfully, my friend is an emotionally strong girl, but even so, there was the requisite crying, and the woeful pity parties which basically consisted of us sitting around and talking in hushed voices, lamenting the situation with her and quoting cliches, in our darkened training office. But like I said, D was made of sterner stuff. So even if she was going through hell at that time, she was already talking about how she knew she was going to be okay again, that the break-up was for the better, that she will travel and see the world, and someday, look back on all this and laugh. She did ask me if I've been through my own version of major-dashing-of-my-heart-to-a-million-pieces episode, and I laughed and said yes. Her next question took me aback, though. She asked how long it took me to recover and I whispered, "Almost two years." She balked then groaned, and we all laughed. I protested and said, "See, the important thing is, you recover." I can't recall if she bought it, but that seemed to appease every single one of us that night.

You never forget a major heartbreak, they say. I guess it's true. It's messy and icky and more drama-filled than a Pinoy Big Brother Teen Edition episode. The very first person who broke my heart was my very first boyfriend. We were together for almost five years and one day, he just got fed up with all our fights and all my insecurities that he called it quits and dumped me. He was a nice guy. My friends loved him. He was sweet and smart and we had so much in common. Our first date was at a Greyhoundz concert at the Ateneo. The next weekend, he took me to watch a play called Sinta. I was smitten.

He broke up with me weeks after our college graduation. I guess the timing couldn't be any more perfect because a new chapter in both our lives was unfurling, and by breaking up with me, he was telling the world he wanted a fresh start - one that didn't include me. I couldn't blame him. The relationship had become toxic. It had become possessively unhealthy and it had grown stale and negative. We weren't growing.

Of course, I couldn't see that then. I did everything wrong after he broke up with me. I told his friends at the Ateneo to talk to him and to ask him to take me back. One friend, months after, told me he thought I was crazy. I also reread the letters he wrote to me. I refused to eat, and I listened to Silverchair's Miss You Love and Smashing Pumpkins' Landslide over and over again.

I drunk-dialed him, pleaded with him, begged him. I did so once in the rain, for cinema-quality melancholia, but to no avail. I didn't know I was being pathetic. I also serial dated, which means that, not only was I being self-destructive, I was toying with other people's feelings along the way.

I cannot anymore remember how I recovered and got out of that funk, because it happened without me fully realizing it. I just found myself remembering him less and less every day, when before - when the wound was still fresh -, just the sight of a bright red Honda Civic VTec drove me into crying hysterics.

When I realized I was over him, I felt... at peace. I was so happy. I felt freed. We didn't get our fairy tale ending, but we had a pretty good story. It was a story that led me to a better, and a new and improved, version of me. I became someone who was ready to welcome someone like my husband into my life. Now that's another great story to tell too.